Washington Metro could close over dozen stations, eliminate weekend service amid pandemic
- 01 December 2020
The Washington DC Metro is proposing to get rid of the weekend subway service in order to compensate for the budget deficit resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said in a report prepared for the upcoming Friday board meeting, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"A survey of Metrorail customers shows that former riders, who are currently teleworking full-time, would utilize Metrorail again only when an effective vaccine becomes widely available. Low ridership on Metrorail, particularly during peak hours, which typically is the greatest contributor to fare revenue, further dampens Metro's revenue outlook," the report says.
The service reductions that Metro is proposing in addition to those approved by the board on November 19, include a complete elimination of the Saturday and Sunday service and the closure of 19 stations.
Weekday service could be limited on all seven rail lines with the system closing at 9 p.m. Metro is also proposing to reduce its bus service to 41 lines, down from the current 60.
Metro expects its operating deficit to reach $1.681 billion in the 2022 fiscal year. Taking Federal subsidies into account, the resulting funding gap would be $494.5 million.
If WMATA proceeds with the proposed measures to help close the gap, the DC transit agency will cut 2,400 jobs.